In addition to the two theme parks, the Universal resort offers a mega entertainment complex called CityWalk. It’s located on the other side of the lake from the two theme parks, and serves to connect the parks and hotels to the parking area. Read more »
Can you imagine actually having the chance to step inside the world of the Harry Potter books? You could have a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, stroll through Hogsmeade, and shop in Diagon Alley. Starting in 2010, if you visit Universal Orlando, you could get the chance to do all these things and more as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens in the park.
In a joint venture with Warner Brothers and Universal Orlando Resorts, a park has been dedicated to Harry Potter, the title character of the book series created by J.K. Rowling, and will open inside Universal’s Island of Adventure park in Orlando, Florida. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be situated in Lost Continents section of Islands of Adventure.
While there has been a great deal of speculation about when the park will open, Universal has only stated on their Web site that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, touted as a “theme park within a theme park,” will open some time in 2010. Rowling herself has been very supportive of the park, and Universal has enlisted the help of Stuart Craig, the creative mind behind the set design of the entire Harry Potter movie series, to give the park a look that will allow patrons to imagine that they’re right in the middle of one of the films.
Because the park’s design will be inspired by the films, some of the most iconic locations from the series, including the village of Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forests, will be part of the layout. The centerpiece will be Hogwarts itself, a structure that may rival one of the great landmarks of Orlando, Cinderella’s castle at Disney World. Concept art for Hogsmeade, Hogwarts and inside the Three Broomsticks have already been made public.
Specific details about the rides and attractions hasn’t been fully disclosed yet. However, during one of the first reports on the park in June 2007, Orlando news station Local 6 reported that one of the rides, according to their sources, will include the Ford Anglia featured prominently in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Universal has created a Web site for the park, located at www.wizardingworldharrypotter.com, which has attraction renderings, frequently asked questions and an invitation to get regular updates on the park through your e-mail.
While everyone can agree that a trip to Universal Studios Orlando can be fun for the whole family, many people are worried they can’t afford to spend money on a vacation, especially with the economy the way it is. What many people are surprised to learn is just how affordable a family vacation can be. With millions of people visiting the area each year, there are so many hotel, flight, and ticket options available that prices are cut rate.One of the best ways to get top value for your dollar is to buy a Universal Studios Vacation Package.
These packages combine all your travel needs into one package, including airfare, hotels, rental cars, and sometimes even meals and theme park tickets. Buying everything all at once like this can save you big bucks on your trip. I really like these packages by FunJet because I used them for a trip to Orlando last year and got a much better deal than I could have gotten on my own. They gave me airfare and a hotel for my trip for the same price as the hotel alone would have cost me if I’d booked separately, plus they don’t have all the crazy fees that Orbitz and Travelocity have these days.
If you can’t find a package that meets your needs, don’t worry. You can build your own package using some cheap travel providers. Start by finding your flight on Priceline. They’re my favorite place for Orlando flights because not only can you search for deals the normal way, you can also name your own price for flights and see if any airlines will accept that price for a ticket. It’s called bidding for travel and you’ll get a response instantly.
Once you have your flight, check out hotel options at Priceline as well. I was a little nervous the first time I used Priceline, but you select exactly where you want your hotel to be and what star level you want before you bid. It feels really good to know you only paid $30 for the same room the hotel normally charges $200 for! I pretty much only use Priceline for my hotel bookings these days because of the great deals I’ve gotten.
For the cheapest rental car options, try E-Z Rent A Car. When I used them to book my rental car on a trip to Walt Disney World last year, I think I ended up with a rate around $15 a day. It’s hard to get much cheaper than that.
By using these resources to book you’re trip, you’ll be able to have plenty of fun on your vacation, knowing you got the best deal. Plus the money you save will come in handy for buying souvenirs at the parks!
Orlando offers a great selection of water parks, with more being added every year. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Disney waterparks, Sea World’s new Aquatica park, and the classic Wet ‘N Wild and Watermania.
Yes, there are theme parks in Orlando beyond the famous Walt Disney World. There’s Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, or course. (For an overview of the Universal parks, see this post from October.) In this post, we’ll look at Sea World and its sister park, Discovery Cove, as well as Busch Gardens in Tampa.
The Orlando area is home to some of the best theme parks in the world. In this post, we’ll do a quick overview of each park, highlight some of the best attractions, and outline the best park for different interests and age groups.
Let’s face it….you can only spend so much time at an amusement park before you need a break. While on your vacation at Universal, there’s going to come a day when you just can’t face another roller coaster or long line. Don’t worry though. Orlando offers plenty of other attractions to keep you busy away from the parks. Read more »
I’ve mentioned in many posts that I hate waiting in long lines. I know some people feel like that 90 minute wait is part of the theme park experience, but I’d rather wait 5-10 minutes and walk right on to the ride. The good news is that Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure offer plenty of ways to experience major rides and attractions without waiting in line, and you can do it without spending an extra dime.